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Category: Bulgaria

7 Cool Museums in the Balkans

Museums are almost always an integral part of everyone’s itinerary when visiting a new destination. Yet, they are not among top associations when you think of the Balkans – it…

Museums are almost always an integral part of everyone’s itinerary when visiting a new destination. Yet, they are not among top associations when you think of the Balkans – it is nightlife, food, lovely beaches and nature. However, Balkan cities have some real hidden gems and fantastic niche museums that are well worth the visit.

From broken relationships to aviation, nuclear bunkers and science or the communist retro past, these 7 cool museums in the Balkans are waiting for you to discover them! Next time you’re in the Balkans look beyond the main attractions and go visit one of these museums.

Museum of Broken Relationships – Zagreb

Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

What started as a traveling exhibition ended up being one of Europe’s most innovative museums. The exhibition consists of objects sent by contributors from around the world which are accompanied with a personal story. These objects can be anything from a fluffy toy or music CD to something more extreme such an axe. Stories, on the other hand, hide much more powerful message – they are packed with satire, hatred and hurt.

This is a museum you’ll remember for a lifetime which is not so surprising as it is such an emotional roller coaster. What you may find interesting though is that this museum was founded by two people whose relationship has ended.

If you’ve just suffered from a breakup and want to do something more creative than punching a pillow, sharing your story to the world might be just what you need.

Museum of Aviation – Belgrade

Kamov Ka-25PL at Belgrade Aviation Museum

Photo: Belgrade Aviation Museum by G B_NZ 

If you happen to fly into Nikola Tesla Airport, the main airport serving Serbia’s capital, don’t miss the chance to visit the Museum of Aviation which is right next to it.

You’ll easily recognize its geodesic glass building which houses more than 200 aircraft previously operated by the Yugoslav and Serbian Air Forces. The most important displays include the USAF F-117 Nighthawk and F-16 Fighting Falcon which were shot down during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

There is also an outdoor exhibition with more than 10 large airplanes.

You can also go to the museum by catching the bus #72 from Zeleni Venac station.

Noesis – Science Centre and Technology Museum – Thessaloniki

cool museums in the balkans

Planetarium (Photo: Noesis Museum)

If you’re a science freak you don’t want to miss Noesis – Science Centre and Technology Museum in Greece’s second largest city. Go watch an astronomy show at the Planetarium, a 3D movie in the Cosmotheater or do a ride show at the Motion Simulator.

After the Science Centre go to the Museum which consists of three main exhibitions. One is dedicated to classic cars, the other to technological innovations and works of Ancient Greeks and the last one is Technopark – an interactive area where you can learn more about the world of physics.

It’s a fantastic experience for people of all ages!

Tito’s Atomic Shelter – Konjic

cool museums in the balkans

Photo: Almin Zrno (www.bijenale.ba)

Also known as the Ark, this former nuclear bunker was built to protect President Tito and his close inner circle in case an atomic conflict happened. The bunker is located near the town of Konjic in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the public only heard about it after the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

It was one of the largest underground complexes in the former Yugoslavia. To get an idea of how big it is, it had Tito’s residence which consists of 5 rooms, over 100 rooms in general, two conference centers, two kitchens and even a fully operational hospital.

You are allowed to sit in Tito’s chair and take photos by his portraits. The bunker also has an art installation from various European artists.

Retro Museum – Varna

If you’re a fan of history you’re gonna love Retro Museum in Varna which opened its doors in 2015. This relatively new museum will take you back in the period between 1944-1989 during which socialism flourished in Bulgaria and other countries. The highlight of the museum is the rich collection of 50 cars which includes some legendary names such as Trabant, Volga, Wartburg, and Moskvich.

Walking along the red carpet you’ll pass by figures of Lenin, Stalin, Karl Marx and other leaders of the socialist movement. The museum also has a nice collection of household items, cigarettes, food, cosmetics and other brand products people used under the Communist regime.

If you happen to visit the Bulgarian coast for holidays and stay in Sunny Beach or Golden Coast, considering stopping in Varna and visit this interesting museum.

Museum of Yugoslav History and House of Flowers, Belgrade

cool museums in the balkans

No visit to Belgrade could be complete without visiting the Museum of Yugoslav History and the House of Flowers – the resting place of Josip Broz Tito and his ex-wife Jovanka Broz. Every year on May 25th Yugonostalgics from Serbia and the former states flock here to commemorate his birthday.

The museum has more than 200,000 artifacts showing the history of Yugoslavia and its nations. Museums are mainly centered around Tito, the gifts he received from youth, workers and foreign politicians. The Museum 25th May is also part of this large complex and is included in your ticket. At the moment it is hosting a fantastic exhibition dedicated to Yugoslav workers in Germany and Austria on temporary work.

Plan at least half a day for a visit to this complex. You won’t be disappointed.

BUNK’ART,  Tirana

Bunk Art 2

Photo: Bunk Art

Albania is one of the countries that suffered the most from the Communist regime. It is home to thousands and thousands of bunkers that you’ll spot pretty much everywhere – on mountains, beaches, cities. In fact, just after leaving the Warsaw Pact the country built 700,000 of them.

Since they were extremely hard to destroy locals found the way to make them a bit more aesthetically pleasing by being artistic and decorating them in different colors.

BUNK’ART is a place where you can learn more about Albanian history during the Communist regime and the lives of its citizens. There’s also another bunker called BUNK’ART 2 which reveals the secrets of Enver Hoxha’s secret police.

Did you like this list? Which cool museums in the Balkans do you recommend?

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4 Interesting Wine Festivals in the Balkans

The Balkans are not the first place that comes to mind when you think of wine. It’s not even among the top regions where wine is produced. But did you…

The Balkans are not the first place that comes to mind when you think of wine. It’s not even among the top regions where wine is produced. But did you know that three Balkan countries are among top 20 wine-producing countries? That’s right. They are Romania, Greece and Serbia.

Wine was never the most popular alcoholic drink in the Balkans. Rakija and beer have always been a favourite choice of the locals and what makes the situation even worse is that low purchasing power of the market dictates higher consumption of cheaper products.

Yet, three Balkan countries – Romania, Greece and Serbia – are among the top 20 wine-producing countries. Through international fairs, mapping of wine routes and festivals, this region is slowly piquing an interest of wine lovers around the world.

Here are some of the most popular wine festivals in the Balkans;

The Balkans International Wine Competition – Sofia, Bulgaria

This festival which is already in its sixth year was the first of its kind. It showcases regional wines while drawing attention to this interesting region. It hosts world famous wine connoisseurs, who judge wines of different Balkan producers and welcomes wine merchants, journalists and bloggers from some of the strongest markets – USA, UK, Japan, Russia, Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

The Grand Trophy for 2017 was taken by Bulgaria’s Rumelia Wine Cellar and their Mavrud Reserva 2013 red wine. Its indigenous region is Thrace in Bulgaria and its multilevel aroma with nuances of dry leaves, seasoning and resin won the hearts of the jury. The White Wine Trophy also went to Bulgarian winery Edoardo Miroglio and their Elenovo Chardonnay 2015. 

The festival mostly showcases Bulgarian wines with appearances of few wineries from other countries, but it is still among top wine festivals in the Balkans.

Also, don’t forget to check out my Sofia travel guide with all the tips and suggestions. If you need accommodation check out Booking.

Tikveski Grozdober, Macedonia

Kavadarci, a small town 100 km away from Skopje, has been a heart of the Macedonian wines for a long time. This region is better known as Tikves and the largest winery in the Southeastern Europe is located here.

The wine tradition that goes all the way back to the ancient times continued with an annual festival that lasts for several days. Beside the wine events, the festival hosts art exhibitions, sport events, music programs and more. The winery has its restaurant, souvenir shops and offers guided tours to visitors.

The wines of Tikves Winery have won numerous awards at international festivals including the Concours Mondial in Brussels, Decanter World Wine Awards, International Wine Challenge, Chardonnay du Monde and others. Some of them are: Vranec Special Selection 2015, Cabernet Franc Special Selection 2016, Alexandria Red 2015, Chardonnay Special Selection 2015.

The less known wineries from the city are Popov and Chokorovi. 

> Accommodation in Kavadarci 

Smederevo Autumn, Serbia

Smederevo Autumn has been one of the most important tourism events in the city of Smederevo and one of the oldest in Serbia. It originates from the 1888 and the tradition has been preserved till modern days. Smederevka is one of the leading autochthonous types of grapes from Smederevo’s vineyard. It’s famous for its soft aromas of lime and lemon with mild herbal characteristics.

As one of the biggest wine regions in the country, it is home to five wineries. Smederevka from Janko Cellar Winery is a good representative.

> Accommodation in Smederevo

RO-Wine, Romania

According to legend, Dionysus – the Thracian god of wine – was born in what is now Romania, and Plato declared its vineyards to be the best in the world. Romanians have been making and drinking wine for over 6000 years.

The Wine Festival of Romania, brings together crème de la crème of Romanian wines accompanied by international varieties. In the span of two days, more than 2.500 wine connoisseurs gather along with wine specialists, wine cellar owners, to enjoy the rich selection of wines specially made for them.

You’ll get the opportunity to taste the best of Murfatlar, Jidvei, Cotnari, Vincon, Tohani and best of small production wineries.

If you think you’ll be bored with the surplus amount of Romanian wines – you’d be wrong. The RO-Wine presents over 300 wines from France, Italy, Republic of Moldova, Argentina, Spain or Chile. This easily makes it one of the best wine festivals in the Balkans.

 Cheers!

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Five Great Hikes in the Balkans

The Balkans are a fantastic place to go hiking or for an outdoors holiday. With plenty of mountains, lakes, and forests, the Balkans offer a true opportunity for adventure and…

The Balkans are a fantastic place to go hiking or for an outdoors holiday. With plenty of mountains, lakes, and forests, the Balkans offer a true opportunity for adventure and some of the most spectacular views. You can always choose between short and long distance hiking trails, depending on your level of fitness and available time.

And if the only thing you’re missing is inspiration here are the five great hikes in the Balkans;

Mount Olympus

The highest mountain in Greece and the home of Greek gods according to Greek mythology, Mount Olympus has always attracted the attention of people. The mountain is located 80 km southwest of Thessaloniki and is relatively easy to get to. It offers numerous hiking paths, among which the Litochoro – Prionia – Spilios Agapitos is the most popular.

The route consists of walking along the beautiful Enipea Canyon, Agios Dionysios monastery, spectacular Enipea waterfalls and more. Due to many ascents and descents, it is more suitable for experienced hikers.

If you decide to stay on the mountain you can sleep in one of the refuges. The one in Agapitos is the most popular.

The length of the route is 17 km and it takes around 8 hours to complete it.

Rtanj Mountain

Rtanj won’t top the lists of the biggest mountains in Serbia but it is definitely one of its most mysterious. With its pyramidal shape, there were many theories of the existence of this mountain. Some believe it is alien’s creation while others sought shelter prior the famous Mayan doomsday which obviously didn’t happen.

Theories aside, Rtanj mountain is a beautiful hiking spot with lovely villages in its vicinity. It is also famous for local tea called Rtanj which has many health benefits.

Rtanj’s highest peak Siljak offers beautiful views of the area and the mountain is home to many rare healing herbs. The mountain is best accessible from the town of Boljevac.

> Accommodation in and around Boljevac 

Vitosha Mountain

Vitosha mountain dominates Sofia’s cityscape and is the city’s most notable symbol. It is one of Bulgaria’s best mountains for hiking, skiing, and alpinism and is also the oldest natural park in the Balkans.

The best hiking paths on Vitosha are Aleko Hut – Cherni Vrah peak; Boyana Church – Boyana Waterfall and Vladaya – Golden Bridges.

Boyana is Sofia’s elite suburb and Boyana Church is listed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The easiest way to get to the mountain is with a bus or a taxi. Buses can have sometimes irregular schedules and taxis are inexpensive so I’d recommend saving time by going with the latter option. If you don’t have time to organize this daily trip by yourself you can choose to book a tour to the mountain. Also, don’t forget to check out my detailed guide to Sofia.

> Accommodation in Sofia

The Accursed Mountains

The Accursed Mountains have always topped the lists of great hikes in the Balkans, and Europe in general. There are three national parks situated in the mountains – one is in Montenegro and the other two in Albania.

One of Europe’s most remote areas, the Accursed Mountains offer beautiful scenery, picturesque villages and a real mental challenge! This walk is best for the more experienced hikers.

You can start your tour from the town of Shkoder and pay a visit to the nearby Rozefa fortress. Albania used to be isolated for years, however, that’s slowly changing and the country is drawing more attention thanks to its beautiful beaches and the Accursed Mountains. You can read more about my journey to Albania here.

Durmitor Mountain

Durmitor is a national park in northern Montenegro. This area is famous for the Tara Canyon which is the deepest in Europe. The town of Zabljak from where most hikes are starting is the highest populated town in the Balkans.

Durmitor is mostly known for its glacier lakes. There’s 18 of them and Crno Jezero (Black Lake) is the most famous. It is very close from the main town of Zabljak. Crno Jezero is a good starting point for half-day and daily hikes.

Walking through beautiful forests, admiring the lakes and tasting authentic local cuisine, are one of the top and must have experiences in Northern Montenegro. These features regularly place the mountain among the greatest hikes in the Balkans.

> Accommodation in Zabljak

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Five Underrated Ski Resorts in Europe

Winter is slowly approaching so if you’re looking for a snowy holiday and a chance to do some skiing on a budget read on! Travelers usually rely on travel agents…

Winter is slowly approaching so if you’re looking for a snowy holiday and a chance to do some skiing on a budget read on!

Travelers usually rely on travel agents when looking for a perfect winter getaway. However, with threats facing travel agencies less and less travelers approach an agency for helping them organize a trip.

With so many low-cost carriers in Europe and the rise of sharing economy, especially AirBnb, it’s so easy to plan and organize your trip from the comfort of your home.

And considering there are so many choices on the market, I’ve compiled this list of five underrated ski resorts in Europe.

Bansko, Bulgaria

Pirin Mountains

Photo: Pirin Mountains by Moise Nicu on Flickr under CC

Situated at the foot of Pirin mountain, this ski resort offers fantastic ski and snowboard conditions. The ski season lasts from 15th of December to 15th of May. There are numerous bars, traditional restaurants and accommodation options. Bansko is developing at a high speed and it even offers conditions for night skiing. It’s ideal for beginners and experts. The best way to reach Bansko is by flying to Sofia and then catching a bus. The distance between Sofia and Bansko is 3 hours. If you’re looking for an affordable winter holiday destination with great slopes, good food and fantastic scenery, consider Bansko. Borovets and Pamporovo in Bulgaria are also worth the mention.

Arcalis, Andorra

saliendo del pas

Photo: saliendo del pas by VICTOR VIC on Flickr under CC

With 30 km of slopes available, Arcalis is another great place for beginners and advanced skiers. The season here lasts from late November until mid April. Andorra has 303 km of skiable areas, 109 ski lifts and 6 snowparks. For such a tiny country, Andorra has 32,500 beds at cheaper price than in France for example.

Ischgl, Austria

IMG_0843.CR2

Photo by Per Olesen on Flickr under CC

Ischgl is located in the Austrian state of Tyrol. The village is connected to the ski area by three ropeways: the Pardatschgratbahn, the Fimbabahn and the Silvrettabahn. Getting to Ischgl is easiest accomplished with a direct flight from Innsbruck, while Friedrichshafen (Germany) and Zurich (Switzerland) offer alternative routes via the Arlberg tunnel.

The season starts from 24th of November till the 1st of May. The skiing conditions are superb at its 238km pistes (served by 45 state-of-the-art lifts) that range from wide ski pistes perfect for beginners to more challenging and adrenaline pumping steep slopes. One unique thing that they offer is a cross border run or as they call it “Smuggler’s Run”. It’s a joint ski pass from Ischgl in Austria and the Swiss duty-free region of Samnaun – so don’t forget your credit card! Together that ski area belongs to the largest skiing resort in the Alps.

Although it offers everything you can imagine when it comes to winter activities, the village night life is not lacking behind. Ischgl is notorious for its party scene and music events that attract some of the biggest names in industry.

Saariselkä, Lapland, Finland

Green lights

Photo: Green lights by Chris on Flickr under CC

Saariselkä is a mythical gem hidden in the deep north of Finland. You might’ve expected that the route to the deep north of Finland is somewhat complicated and tiresome – in the end it is 250km north from the Arctic Circle. Well fortunately it’s actually fairly easy to get there. The most popular way is to board a Finnair flight from Helsinki to Ivalo airport, and afterwards catch a short bus ride to Saariselkä. The cheapest way is a direct bus ride from the south, that is if you don’t mind the strenuous 15 hour long journey.

Saariselkä’s ski season starts in late November and end in the early days of May. The ski resort has 11 pistes which are served by 6 lifts. It has a small downhill route perfect for beginners and early intermediate skiers. If you don’t find the pistes challenging enough you can always have a go at snowboarding. Finland’s largest terrain park offers half pipes and a number of jumps that justify the boarder’s loyalty to Saariselkä. It’s a dream destination for travelers such as I. It offers quiet, views of infinite landscapes and an abundance of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, reindeer and husky sled rides, cross country skiing, snowmobile safaris, boating/canoeing and hoping to catch a glimpse of the dreamlike Aurora Borealis phenomenon.

And if you’re still unsure, check out these reasons to visit Lapland even if you hate winter.

Tatras, Slovakia

Morskie Oko

Photo: Morskie oko by Kamil Porembiński on Flickr under CC

Slovakia, usually a very popular destination among the Hungarians, Poles and Russians, has had a somewhat recent influx of British tourists, which is attributed to Wizz Air’s new London-Poprad route. Wizz Air also offers flights from Riga and Warsaw to Poprad. There are also train rides from Prague, buses departing from Krakow to Zakopane and from there, transfer to another bus ride to Poprad or Stary Smokovec.

Slovakia has a couple of ski resorts, located in the Low Tatras and High Tatras. The High Tatras are the tallest range in the Carpathian Mountains, smugly towering over most of Eastern Europe. Despite the high altitudes, the skiing in the High Tatras is mostly recommended for beginners. The skiing seasons starts at the 26th of November and lasts to the 23rd of May. The biggest and arguably the best ski resort is Jasna. It’s located in the Low Tatras and is also a part of the national park Napant. It has 29 pistes, ski area is between elevations of 943m – 2004m, 44.5 km of slopes and 4.5km of ski routes available. There are 27 modern lifts available.

It’s not just a skiing heaven – the resort also features a snow park. If you get tired of winter activities you can always go into town of Liptovsky Mikulas, where you can choose from go-karting, bowling, a trip to the cinema – to visiting some of the local bars/restaurants to have a drink or two to warm yourself up. You’ll also be very pleasantly surprised when you realize that the prices are steeper than the Slovakian slopes!

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Sofia Travel Guide – Tips and Tricks for Bulgaria’s Capital

Sofia is a regular stop for many travelers discovering the Balkans. It offers many cultural activities, has a big mountain in its vicinity ideal for hiking and on top of…

Sofia is a regular stop for many travelers discovering the Balkans. It offers many cultural activities, has a big mountain in its vicinity ideal for hiking and on top of it all – it’s a budget friendly destination.

In this Sofia travel guide you’ll find a list of top things to do in the city including the sights, tours, eating and drinking section etc.

Sofia Travel Guide

Sofia has many sacral objects and they are some of city’s most notable attractions. So don’t be surprised with the list below. It also has a mix of European and Communist style architecture which makes it a regular stop on many Balkan tours.

Sacral Objects

alexander nevsky cathedral - sofia travel guide

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – Sofia’s most impressive church
Boyana Church – One of Bulgaria’s most beloved medieval churches. Listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List
St. Sofia Church – The second oldest church in the city. Very close to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Banya Bashi Mosque – The only working mosque in the city
Sv. Nedelya Church – Beautiful church at the beginning of Vitosha street. In 1925 the church was blown up by the communists in an attempt to assassinate Tsar Boris III.
Sofia Synagogue – The third largest synagogue in Europe
Sveti Nikolai Russian Church – Beautiful architecture!

Buildings/Architecture

NDK Sofia travel guide

National Theatre Ivan Vazov – One of the nicest architectural gems
Narodno Sabranie – The National Assembly designed in Neo-Renaissance style
Monument to the Soviet Army – Popular place where many young people gather
NDK (National Palace of Culture) – Major venue for concerts and other events, famous for its unique architectural style
Sofia Monument – A monumental sculpture in the city centre. Stands in the place where Lenin’s statue once used to be.
The Mineral Baths Building – An interesting building in Bulgarian and Byzantine architectural styles
Royal Palace – Now home to the National Art Gallery and the Etnographic Museum
Presidency – Don’t miss the changing of the guard ceremony

Parks

sofia parks

Sofia has a plenty green areas and here are some of its best parks;

Yuzhen Park  – Possibly the most photogenic park
Borisova Gradina – Home of the Monument to the Soviet Army and great place for strolling and having a picnic. Also home to Vasil Levski stadium and CSKA stadium
Sofia City Garden – Beautiful park with several cafes around
Sofia University Botanic Garden – For the more extreme nature fans 🙂
Doctor’s Garden – Small park with historical significance

Museums

sofia-culture

Archeological Museum – One of the best museums in the city
National Art Gallery – Must see for culture buffs!
National Gallery for Foreign Art – This gallery hosts European, Asian (mostly Buddhist and Japanese art) and African art.
National Museum of Military History – It has one of the best presented exhibitions in the city. You can follow Bulgarian history from the Thracian period until the WW2 and Communist times.

Street Life

plac-slaveikov sofia travel guide

Vitosha Street – main pedestrian street with lots of shops, restaurants and cafes. Always alive!
Plac Slaveikov – I love this square as there’s an open-air book market. Most books are Bulgarian novels but there are English language books too and some in French.

Eating & Drinking

vegan-food-sofia

Manastirska Magernitsa – Authentic Bulgarian restaurant with rich selection of foods from all over the country
Dream House – An awesome vegetarian and vegan restaurant. There’s also an ‘all you can eat buffet’ on Sundays.
Cafe Theatre – A very nice cafe in a great setting just next to the Ivan Vazov Theatre
Loving Hut – Another vegan budget friendly place
Central Hali Shopping Center – This is a big market complex with a food court on the top
Fantastico Supermarket – Great place to stock up on groceries
Supa Star – Delicious soups! Good offer of sandwiches and salads too. Nice atmosphere. A must visit when in town.
Skaptobara – Burgers and beers! Great place for a chit chat with friends
There are also many fast food stalls where you can buy food such as banitsa (cheese pastry), pancakes and burgers.

Nightlife

Drinks

J.J. Murphy’s Sofia – A famous Irish pub
E.W. Studio – One of the better clubs in the city
Culture Beat – This bar/club has a nice terrace with the view of Sofia. Hosts DJ sessions at night.
One More Bar – Hip, nice garden to sit outside, ideal for summers drinks
Dada Cultural Bar – Chilling and cozy place, ideal for drinking wine
Vitamin B – Great selection of beers. Yes, beers!

Culture

red cinema sits

Cinema City – Modern, multi screen cinema in the Mall of Sofia
Arena Cinema Sofia – Another good cinema located in the Business Park district
Sofia Opera – Hosts artists from around the world. You can see the full calendar here
National Palace of Culture – One of the largest cultural centers in the country. Hosts all kinds of events.
Bulgaria Hall – If you want to hear the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra come here

Shopping

Boulevard Vitosha – Main pedestrian and shopping street with international boutiques, souvenir shops and restaurants
Mall of Sofia – Biggest shopping centre in the city

Accommodation

Sofia has a wide range of accommodation options. However, after visiting the city for the third time I have to say that finding a budget and good quality hotel at the same time is a bit difficult. Apartments or private rooms could be a good option.


Booking.com

Day Trips

boyana-waterfall

Boyana – This is Sofia’s peaceful and elite suburb, located 8 km from the city centre. It’s home to the National Museum of History and Boyana Church which is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The easiest way to come here is by taxi which is affordable.
Vitosha Mountain – The oldest natural park in the Balkans is located in the vicinity of Sofia. This gives the city a big advantage compared to other European capitals. The best hiking trails are: Aleko Hut – Cherni Vrah peak; Boyana Church – Boyana Waterfall and Vladaya – Golden Bridges.
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How to Travel from Belgrade to Sofia

This guide will show you how to travel from Belgrade to Sofia. The distance between two cities is 393 km so it is easily manageable by bus or a car….

This guide will show you how to travel from Belgrade to Sofia. The distance between two cities is 393 km so it is easily manageable by bus or a car. However, here are all the options.

By Car

If you are traveling by car and perhaps touring the Balkan countries, this is one of the quickest ways to access Sofia. If it’s summer the waiting time on the border could be prolonged as many people are going to a holiday to the Bulgarian Coast or Turkey. The journey lasts around 4 hours and 30 minutes.

By Plane

Air Serbia operates a flight between the two cities, however this is mostly a business line and the tickets are expensive for the budget savvy travelers. Check out Air Serbia’s website for more detailed info.



By Bus

If you are looking on how to travel from Belgrade to Sofia by bus I’ll list 3 companies who operate on this route.This is one of the cheapest and quickest options and most travelers opt for this transportation method.

Nis Express

They have daily service, two times a day. The bus departures Belgrade at 00:45 and 12:30. The price of the return ticket is 40 EUR and if you are a student 32 EUR. You need to show a student card.  This is like 150 EUR (sometimes even more) cheaper than a plane.

The only downside is that you need to change a bus in Nis. Once you arrive there you have to proceed to the info counter and show your passport and ticket for the next bus that goes to Sofia.

Florentia

This bus leaves once a day at 03:30. It’s a direct line with no stops in between. You can check the prices online and even book the ticket.

Lasta + Karat S

This line runs only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the departure at 14:30 from Belgrade.

By train

Trains in Serbia and the Balkans in general can be unreliable and very slow. The one way ticket from Belgrade to Sofia is 20 EUR and the journey lasts 9 hours and 40 minutes. However, the train is often late. If you travel with a company you could get a sleeper car but I don’t recommend traveling alone on a night train if you are a solo female traveler. You can check the timetable here.

You can check out the official websites and see which option is the best for you!

 

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